Design review: 19 new townhomes on 12th Ave E, 111 units on 10th Ave — UPDATE

Much has been made of the condo revival of 2018 but on Capitol Hill over the past decade, the king of new home ownership has been the townhouse. Wednesday night, a project destined to create 19 more of the homes along 12th Ave E will take what could be its final pass in front of the design review board.

Design review: 506 12th Ave E

The project to turn the land currently home to the six-unit Lance Apartments at 506 12th Ave E has been in motion since developer Isola Homes bought the land in 2016 for $3.5 million. Ownership has passed across a couple Isola-related LLCs over the years including a transaction in the King County records that shows one Isola-related LLC buying the property from another for $5.3 million in July 2018. Seems like a good deal. The project is now set up for development company Mirra Homes to create four, three-story townhomes featuring a total of 19 units and parking for 19 vehicles. Continue reading

Filmmaker takes the helm at Capitol Hill’s Northwest Film Forum

(Image: NWFF)

Writer and filmmaker Vivian Hua will take the helm as the executive director of Capitol Hill’s Northwest Film Forum.

After she assumes the role on October 11th, Hua will be in charge of the strategic direction and creative vision of NWFF, a filmmaker’s collective founded in 1995 that uses film to “incite public dialogue and creative action through collective cinematic experiences.”

“There is no more powerful medium than film,” Hua said. “I work at the intersection of using art as a means of social change and discussion.” Continue reading

Dao Tai House: Northeast Chinese cuisine on Pacific Northwest Capitol Hill

Bo-Ying Fu and her parents have proven that the path of an immigrant doesn’t mean leaving home behind. The three family members have opened their own restaurant, Dao Tai House, on 12th Ave, bringing the flavorful cuisine of Northeast China to the heart of Capitol Hill.

“Let’s not make Americanized Chinese food. Let’s make it like home,” Fu and her parents decided before they opened the restaurant. “The Chinese food here is okay but it’s all very concentrated in the International District. Capitol Hill is well known for its food and we kind of just went for it.” Continue reading

More openings and closings: Fogon returns, ‘A Pizza’ bar you might have missed, and Capitol Hill now down one ramen joint

(Image: A Pizza Mart)

Monday’s update on a more unusual example of a papered over Capitol Hill food+drink window reminded us — and a few readers — of a few more updates to add to our roster of is it open/is it closed ponderings. Below, we’ve tallied a few more new places to check out and marked a passing or two we missed along the way.

  • Fogon is nearly ready to return to action after being shut down since a July kitchen fire. Neighborhood tipsters Blair and Richard report that the E Pine Mexican favorite hopes to reopen Friday if everything goes well with the inspector. Fogon missed its own August birthday — it debuted the corner of Pine and Belmont six years ago. UPDATE 9/13/2018: Co-owner Noel Cortez tells CHS it might take a few more days to get the doors reopened. He’s shooting for a Sunday opening and tells CHS a silver lining to the situation has been time to do more work around the restaurant like redoing floors and sanding tables. Though the staff and ownership have also had a bit of a break as contractors worked to repair a damaged exhaust fan and finish up other repairs from the fire, Cortez says they’re also ready to get back to work. “They’re a little board. And they’re ready to make some money.” Cortez says the closure caused Fogon to miss what has typically been a strong month of business but he’s also grateful to be reopening after what could have been a major fire. “It could have been worse,” Cortez said. The closure has also been a reminder of the support of the neighborhood for the popular restaurant. “They brought card over from across the street,” Cortez said. “It’s been great.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill Renters session hopes to explain ‘what exactly is design review?’

12th Ave Arts, the mixed-use affordable housing, commercial, theater, and nonprofit office space development from Capitol Hill Housing, completed its pass through design review in 2012.

Wednesday night, it will be the setting for the Capitol Hill Renters Initiative session designed to help Capitol Hill residents better understand the public process of shaping the design of its largest, most important new buildings. Seattle Design Explained: What Exactly is Design Review? takes place Wednesday night in the 12th Ave Arts Pike/Pine room:

Not sure why new buildings look the way they do? Wondering how design review affects renters? Want to find out about how to shape new design in our city for the better? Then come join us on September 12th for an explainer and discussion about design review! Christina Ghan from the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections and Aaron Hursey from the Seattle Design Commission will be joining us to help explain 1) what Seattle’s design review process actually is; (2) how the recently-updated Capitol Hill Design Guidelines add on to citywide standards; and (3) how to get involved through the new Early Community Outreach process. There will be time for questions and lively discussion.

Seattle’s design review process continues to evolve. In July, CHS reported on new rules for the process designed to give communities an earlier say in shaping large developments. Meanwhile, the guidelines that shape Capitol Hill reviews underwent a revision this year for the first time in a decade.

CHS Pics | East Precinct’s community picnic: police horses, 17% raises, and, yes, reforms

The Seattle Police rank and file were part of the fun Saturday as Capitol Hill’s East Precinct hosted its annual community picnic, this year back on 12th Ave in front of the precinct headquarters. If you noticed brighter smiles, one, hopefully the brass did all the work grilling the free hot dogs. Two, everybody is about to get a raise.

It’s not exactly a celebration but there is likely more than a little relief that the union representing the department’s more than 1,300 personnel seems to have finally reached a compromise deal with the city on a new contract that will give officers solid raises while also tying further reforms to the package. Continue reading

12th Ave-born, Rhein Haus now open in the ‘Bavarian village’ of Leavenworth

(Image: Rich Fox)

You can now experience a little bit of South Capitol Hill German heritage nestled among the Alps of Washington.

Rhein Haus, the German beer hall and bowling concept born on 12th Ave in the winter of 2013, is now open in Leavenworth. Continue reading

CHS Pics | What it looks like when Capitol Hill’s ‘6th best bar in the world’ holds a yard sale

He missed Capitol Hill Garage Sale Day 2018 by a week but bartender and Canon owner Jamie Boudreau had plenty of interest in his 12th Ave yard sale Sunday.

Sunday’s sale — promoted via social media and some classic utility pole flyers — was also a sort of anniversary celebration Canon opened on 12th Ave in August of 2011. “My goal was when I first moved to Seattle was to go to any bar, order a sazerac, and not have people look at me funny. I think we’re there,” Boudreau told CHS about his goals for the bar when we spoke with him a few years back. Continue reading

Here’s why there are ‘Black Teen Wearing Hoodie’ images up and down 12th Ave

The 12th Ave arts and business community has responded to an act of vandalism targeting a work exploring the visual legacy of the Black Panther Party by incorporating the image damaged in the attack into their storefronts and buildings.

12th Ave’s Photographic Center Northwest is at the center of the effort: Continue reading

Paper sign in the window season: Goodbye Octo, recover soon Fogon, welcome YoYo Station

An artist rendering of a new sign set to replace the paper sign that went up announcing Broadway’s Tea Republik is no more

When a business dies on Capitol Hill, it can often be a quiet affair — especially in summer, the season of printed paper “closed for remodel” messages. Thanks to CHS readers, we hear about a lot of these signs during the summer months. Not all of them are bad news. Below, as part of CHS’s ongoing duty to keep track of the comings and goings of Capitol Hill, here are some of the signs and business changes we’ve been asked about. Remember that behind every business are people and hopes and dreams so no need to speak ill of the dead and paper-signed. Continue reading